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“Nothing is more timely than the establishment and operation of an observatory to provide analysis and to allow policy reforms to be based on evidence: evidence of failures and evidence of success”
Ruth Dreifuss, former President of the Swiss Confederation, Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy 

About the Observatory

National and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.

All GDPO material published on this website is licensed under a CC-BY

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Latest Publication
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The Uruguay – West Africa trafficking connection. An urgent need for closer cooperation and policy exchange

GDPO Policy Brief 14, May 2020 

Axel Klein

Uruguay’s emergence as a transit route for cocaine provides new challenges to international law enforcement cooperation and creates greater need for setting up secure channels of communication between Uruguayan and West African law enforcement.

Read the full brief here: Uruguay-West Africa Connection

Latest News

Launch of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Cannabis Research (ICCR)

The website, which connects cannabis advocates across the region, is the site of evidence-based research about the cannabis plant.

The ICCR’s Research Assistant, Vicki J. Hanson said that the launch of the website was deliberately staged to coincide with 420 Day (Commonly known as 'Weed Day') and aims to connect advocates with cannabis research, in the field as well as provide updates about regional cannabis policies.

“The Caribbean region is poised to be a fertile ground for cannabis research, and as such the launch of website based ICCR in the region, on this historic day, April 20, 2020, provides the opportunity to lead the world in new evidenced-based research on cannabis in a wide array of subject matters,” said Vicki Hanson. “The ICCR uses interdisciplinary approach to cannabis research is critical at this juncture as the world evolves from a strict prohibitionism to various other regulatory framework that impacts all areas of development in regions around the world,” added Vicki Hanson.

The ICCR was established from a grant received from the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) under a partnership with the Department of Government, UWI (Mona) and the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) based at Swansea University.

The ICCR’s Team used the occasion to encourage users to share articles, activities, events and other cannabis-related matters with the organization.

The ICCR serves as a centre of research excellence, a hub for a range of institutions within the region and a nexus of academic disciplines pertinent to research into cannabis and related market shifts. It has advisory and technical members attached to UWI Mona, as well as other internationally renowned scholars and academics from around the world. The ICCR’s approach to cannabis is more than medicinal, more than drugs, it is an overall Developmental policy-based approach. This 4/20/2020 launch signals this new approach in a new era.

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